Xi Jinping, Daw Suu hail close bilateral ties at Beijing meeting

Chinese President Xi Jinping and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi hailed the close relationship between their two countries at talks in Beijing on December 1, media reports said.

The State Counsellor’s visit, which came a week after Xi met Tatmadaw Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing in Beijing, follows China’s international support for Myanmar over the Rohingya crisis.

The Communist Party of China and the Chinese government “will, as always, adhere to a policy of friendship with Myanmar and view bilateral ties from a strategic height and long-term perspective,” Xi told Aung San Suu Kyi, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Xi suggested that the two sides should nurture new growth points, such as discussing the construction of a China-Myanmar economic corridor, so as to advance bilateral ties, Xinhua said.

He also hoped the ruling parties of the two countries would make “new contributions to the China-Myanmar comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation,” the news agency said.

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The State Counsellor later attended a meeting of foreign political parties hosted by the CPC, which she told in a speech that China and Myanmar were committed to creating closer ties.

She said the founding goals of the CPC, which she described as being “happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation,” were similar to those of the National League for Democracy, reports said.

Xinhua said that at her meeting with Xi, Aung San Suu Kyi thanked him for attaching great importance to bilateral relations and said she agreed with China’s proposal to build a Myanmar-China economic corridor.

“Undeniably, there is another dimension of this visit,” Dr Sampa Kundu, a researcher at the Southeast Asia and Oceania Centre at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in New Delhi, was quoted as saying by the South China Morning Post on December 1.

“The question is, whether Myanmar is getting closer to China in the face of international criticisms on the Rohingya plight,” she told the Hong Kong daily.

Professor Fan Hongwei, a specialist on Myanmar at China’s Xiamen University, told the SCMP that the State Counsellor would be hoping to maintain good relations with China to promote Myanmar’s national interest.

“Given the recent clashes in Rakhine state, Suu Kyi and the Myanmar government have faced pressure and accusations from the West. Meanwhile China has protected Myanmar in the United Nations, and offered to mediate between Bangladesh and Myanmar to resolve this conflict, which Myanmar will be grateful for,” Fan said.

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